HOPE Toledo Receives Transformational Grant from The Kresge Foundation

Mario Purifie, Jr.

The $300,000 grant will provide needed funding for the HOPE Toledo Promise Program

Special to The Truth

HOPE Toledo is thrilled to announce that it is a recipient of The Kresge Foundation’s CoPro2.0 grant program.

The Kresge Foundation’s CoPro2.0 program is a $2.6 million grant initiative launched to support equitable and sustainable College Promise programs, such as the HOPE Toledo Promise, the two-generational scholarship program intended to create generational economic change.

“HOPE Toledo’s programming engages both youth and parents in a way that positions them on the cutting edge of promise programs,” said Kresge Program Officer Ed Smith, a published author and scholar on the topic of free college programs. “We look forward to being a partner in strengthening their efforts and are excited to have them as a member of this dynamic cohort.”

The HOPE Toledo Promise program received the CoPro2.0 grant in the programming category in the amount of $300,000. These funds will primarily be used to provide additional postsecondary educational opportunities for more students.

Prior to the grant announcement, in which the U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona [1][2]was a special guest and John Jones was invited to speak, a HOPE Toledo Promise Scholar participated in a panel as part of the national College Promise Career Institute Two-Day Summit.

The national panel entitled, America’s Next Generation of Workers: Student Perspectives on Wraparound Supports & Career Preparation, featured seven college students from across the country, including Mario Purifie, Jr. from Toledo. Purifie Jr. is a 2020 graduate of Jesup Wakeman Scott High School and in his second year at Wright State University near Dayton, Ohio.

“I’m a proud HOPE scholar,” said Purifie Jr. “I’m majoring in Crime and Justice Studies with a minor in Pre-Law and active in a number of organizations. I’ve really had to learn time management and how to effectively study, work, volunteer and have fun. I’m so excited that HOPE Toledo is going to help more students through this grant,” he said.

Rev. John C. Jones, president of HOPE Toledo said, “Our goal of supporting and ensuring high-quality education from birth to career, with a focus on creating generational economic change, is more important now than ever before.”

“We know our two-generational approach with families, which provides access to postsecondary education for both the high school graduate and one parent or guardian, has already had and will continue to have significant impact far beyond what we can see. This grant is going to help us continue this important work for more families and for the future of Toledo.”

Community partners who signed letters of support in the grant application process include: Mercy Health, ProMedica and Toledo Public Schools. Academic support partners include: Lourdes University, Mercy College, Owens Community College, University of Toledo. The research support partner is Northwestern University.

Fellow recipients of The Kresge Foundation”s’CoPro2.0 grant in the programming category include: Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation (Detroit, MI), Richmond Promise (Richmond, CA), Growing Inland Achievement (Inland Empire, CA), Tennessee College Access and Success Network (Nashville, TN).

The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information visit kresge.org.

HOPE Toledo is a 501(c) 3 organization and encompasses HOPE Toledo Pre-K and HOPE Toledo Promise. The mission of HOPE Toledo is to work with the Toledo community to support and ensure high-quality educational experiences for all of our youth, from preschool to postsecondary and trade school, with the goal of helping to create generational economic change for the betterment of our families and our community. Currently, 36% of the people in the TPS district are living below the poverty line and more than 80% of kids in Toledo enter kindergarten without the skills needed to learn.

This cradle-to-career approach will better serve our children and, in the long run, help our city progress towards a stronger, more educated workforce. To that end, HOPE Toledo is working with the Toledo community, through public/private partnerships and in tandem with Toledo Public Schools and Washington Local Schools, to develop a plan to deliver high-quality educational experiences for all of our youth. For more information or to donate, visit hope-toledo.org.